Obama Foreign Policy

Obama’s Move to Strengthen Cuba Will Also Help Russia, Iran, North Korea and Venezuela

Featured image President Obama has chosen an odd time to begin a diplomatic and economic relationship with Cuba that undoubtedly will strengthen Cuba’s economy and thereby, in all probability, prolong the rule of the Castro brothers and make it more likely that they will be succeeded by another generation of Communist tyrants. In recent years, Cuba has aligned itself militarily with an international rogues’ gallery: Venezuela, of course, but also Russia, Iran »

Castro brothers join line of anti-American tyrants to receive Obama’s largess

Featured image You knew this was coming, right? You knew that, with all of the national elections that will take place during his presidency behind him, Barack Obama would do everything in his power — broadly defined — to assist the Castro regime. President Obama was a good friend to Mohammad Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s man in Egypt. He has made nice with the mullahs in Iran, bailing their country out of »

Mark Falcoff: Castro’s dreams come true

Featured image Mark Falcoff is resident scholar emeritus at AEI. He is the author of several books including Cuba the Morning After: Confronting Castro’s Legacy. He writes to offer his thoughts on today’s developments: There are many aspects of this story that have not made the media. May I offer a few? Alan Gross was hired by an AID contractor to take computers (and I believe cell phones) to the minuscule Jewish »

Taliban? What Taliban? [Updated]

Featured image The Pakistani Taliban carried out an appalling terrorist attack on the Army school in Peshawar yesterday, murdering more than 130, mostly children, and wounding many more. Reports indicate that one teacher was burned alive in front of her class and some of the children were decapitated. It reportedly required more than eight hours for the Army to clear the school of terrorists. The Taliban has claimed responsibility–credit, in their eyes–for »

What’s the common thread in Obama’s anti-ISIS campaign? Acquiescence to Iran

Featured image How goes the Obama administration’s campaign to “degrade and destroy” ISIS? Badly, according to Max Boot. In Iraq, there have been a few modest successes. But Obama refuses to provide direct support to Sunnis in Anbar and Nineveh provinces, and the Iraqi government, still strongly influenced by Iran, will not supply arms and equipment either. The folly of Obama’s policy in Iraq is self-evident. He relies on proxy forces to »

Questions that perplex Biden

Featured image Following up on the adjacent post, I want to note that Vice President Biden keynoted the Saban Forum conference in Washington this past Sunday afternoon. The Saban Forum is an annual event including American and Israeli leaders from across the political and social spectrum, organized by Haim Saban and the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. The White House has posted the text of Biden’s remarks here. »

Iran caught cheating

Featured image Yesterday morning the Israel Project’s Omri Ceren wrote us to point out Colum Lynch’s Foreign Policy scoop: The Iranians got caught trying to buy parts for their plutonium-producing reactor at Arak. “Remember that when the Iranians cheat,” Omri wrote, “they have two goals in mind.” He elaborated: (1) Most obviously, cheating advances their nuclear program. (2) More subtly, cheating shifts the leverage in negotiations to the Iranian side. #1 is »

U.S. Sanctions against Iran? What’s that about?

Featured image As John has noted, the Obama administration is contemplating the imposition of sanctions on Israel as a response to new settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. So says Haaretz, a reliable Israeli source. When asked about this report, White House press secretary Josh Ernest did not deny it. Neither did the State Department’s spokesperson Marie Harf. At a minimum, then, President Obama wants Israel to believe that »

Obama Reportedly Considering Sanctions Against Israel

Featured image Russia is gobbling up much of Ukraine. China is putting growing pressure on its neighbors in East Asia. ISIS is chopping the heads off Americans. Syria’s government continues to slaughter thousands of its citizens. Iran is working feverishly on a bomb and running circles around our negotiators. Boko Haram is wreaking havoc in Nigeria. Hamas is raining rockets and missiles down on its neighbors. And the Obama administration reportedly is »

Meanwhile, in Eastern Ukraine . . .

Featured image You don’t see much in the news any more about Eastern Ukraine. Nor is there any indication that President Obama is thinking about the situation there. The “cease fire” that Russia, in essence, imposed provides enough of a fig leaf for the world to avert its gaze. However, as Ukrainian journalist Nikoay Vorobiov inconveniently informs us, the “cease fire” hasn’t stopped the fighting. Speaking yesterday at the Heritage Foundation, Vorobiov, »

Who’s sad?

Featured image President Obama went shopping yesterday for books with this daughters at the Politics & Prose Bookstore near the White House. The New York Post reports that Obama took a look at Chuck Todd’s new book about Obama, Stranger in the White House. According to the Post, Obama jokingly called Todd “sad.” Was this a rare instance in which Obama publicly lurched into the truth? NBC reports that Obama was referring »

Clearing my spindle, Iran edition

Featured image I take it that the mullahs who run the show in Iran have been pursuing nuclear warheads to hitch to ballistic missiles for about as long as the regime as been in business. They have sacrificed much in pursuit of their goals and they are within shouting distance of success, mostly minus whatever sacrifice imposed by the sanctions crafted by Congress against the will of the Obama administration. Watching the »

Do sanctions against Iran matter?

Featured image Daniel Pipes argues that the debate over sanctions against Iran, and thus over the P5+1 negotiations, is “peripheral and even diversionary.” He reasons that “the apocalyptically minded Iranian leadership will do everything it can to acquire the Bomb,” and therefore “economic sanctions only serve to slow its course, not to stop” the Iranian nuclear weapons program. For Pipes, all that really matters is whether some government will use force to »

Erdogan Unbound

Featured image Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave a speech in Istanbul yesterday that included a crazed denunciation of the West: “The only condition to overcome the crisis in the Islamic world is unity, solidarity and alliance,” he said. “Believe me, we can resolve every problem as long as we are united.” Erdogan says there is no use counting on help from the Western world. “I speak openly, foreigners love oil, gold, »

U.S. air support minimal as ISIS pushes deep into Ramadi

Featured image ISIS has intensified its push to capture Ramadi, a city of nearly half a million people and the capital of Anbar province: Islamic State fighters on Tuesday penetrated to the core of Ramadi, the provincial capital of Iraq’s largest province, prompting local security officials to warn that the city was on the verge of falling to the extremists. Such a gain would be the Islamic State’s most significant victory in »

Iran’s win-win

Featured image The deadline for reaching a deal with Iran over its nuclear program expires today without the parties having reached a negotiated agreement. The negotiating period will be extended until July 1 of next year. This development is being reported as “no deal,” but there actually is a deal of sorts here. According to the British foreign secretary, Iran will receive about $700 million per month in frozen assets. In exchange, »

U.S. to maintain Afghan combat role through 2015, but why?

Featured image President Obama has decided to authorize an active combat role for the U.S. military in Afghanistan for another year. This is a reversal. In May, Obama said that the American military would have no combat role in Afghanistan next year, and that missions for the troops remaining there would be limited to training Afghan forces and hunting the “remnants of Al Qaeda.” However, now, as the New York Times reports, »